I remember hearing this line in one of Tony's sermons, and if there's any statement that I believe encapsulates Tony and Debbie's attitude to the Gospel as they served us here at St John's, it is this. The apostle Paul describes the Gospel (that Christ has died for our sins and was raised according to scripture) as the most important thing (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). This message of freedom in Christ should drive all we do as God's church directed towards our father and his kingdom. Without the Gospel, without Christ's death and resurrection, we have nothing to offer the world or ourselves. But with it, we have the power through the Spirit to grow God's kingdom and bring salvation to the people of this world.
As we farewell Tony and Debbie this week, I am reminded of how often they modeled this gospel attitude to us in their ministry, leadership, and service. We can thank them for much, but I am perhaps most thankful for their commitment to the Gospel in their service to God. While I can't speak on Tony and Debbie's behalf, I believe that they would want all of us to hold to the mantra of "One more for Jesus" as we move forward in service to God together. Now is a great time to pray for Tony and Debbie as they move forward in a new direction in their service. Pray that the Gospel will be proclaimed wherever they go, thank God for all they have done through Christ for us, and pray for us all that we may see one more for Jesus.